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Morning Skate: Red Wings at Lightning - Game 1

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

7p ET, Amalie Arena

Tampa, FL

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Bolts Blog: Raw Charge

We made it. After the roller coaster 82 game season, we've finally arrived. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is upon us. For the 25th consecutive season, we get to enjoy the stress that is postseason hockey.

So where to do the Red Wings stand?

Well this team is in terrible shape. The Wings come into the playoffs playing losing hockey. It was not a great March and April. All the progress we thought was made in regards to playing the best players and giving the kids a chances to shine has all been tossed to the side of the road and possibly left for dead. Jeff Blashill is riding the veterans hard and it appears they may have run out of gas. There is also the distraction that is Pavel Datsyuk's imminent departure. We can't forget the uncertainty between the pipes either. It just seems like this playoff appearance is going to come and go very quickly.

Stranger things have happened though. Maybe there is a flip to switch? Maybe re-uniting the Euro Twins will ignite one last magical playoff run for two of the most beloved players of this era? Maybe Luke Glendening will find whatever voodoo he had last year when he seemed to go against any analytical data and shut down the Triplets?

That's the greatest part about the Stanley Cup playoffs. You just never know exactly what's going to happen. So we can take all that doom and gloom and push it to the side. The Red Wings lucked into a match-up with another average team. I won't blow smoke up your butt and tell you the Wings are better. They're not. Detroit has a real chance here though and the planets just might align for one last run.

So put on your Red Wings sweater, grab a cold one (make sure to tweet a picture to Kyle) and buckle up. The next car on this stress filled roller coaster known as Red Wings hockey is about to take off.

Detroit's Expected Lineup

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader Pavel Datsyuk Henrik Zetterberg
Gus Nyquist Riley Sheahan Tomas Tatar
Darren Helm Brad Richards Dylan Larkin
Andreas Athanasiou Luke Glendening Joakim Andersson

Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser Kyle Quincey
Niklas Kronwall Alexey Marchenko
Jonathan Ericsson Mike Green

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco, Brendan Smith

Injuries: Drew Miller, Johan Franzen

Tampa's Expected Lineup

Forwards

Alex Killorn Tyler Johnson Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat Valtteri Filppula Jonathan Drouin
J.T. Brown Cedric Paquette Ryan Callahan
Erik Condra Brian Boyle Mike Blunden

Defensemen

Victor Hedman Matt Carle
Jason Garrison Andrej Sustr
Braydon Coburn Nikita Nesterov

Goaltenders

Ben Bishop (starting)
Andrei Vasilevskiy

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Game Day Prediction Contest

Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.

Make your game predictions on the winning team, final score, and who the Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated in the questions. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. All other submissions after that will be disregarded. Only one submission per person, please. POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.

Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 2 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct you'll receive 15 points.